With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, shaking hands has become a ritual of the past. But one Englishman was given the traditional greeting by a friendly seal when diving off the coast of the Farne Islands on October 8.
In footage captured by diver Ben Burville, a grey seal shakes flippers with him, before engaging in interactions humans don’t usually practice, such as playfully trying to remove Burville’s cap with his teeth.
Burville, a doctor and Northumberland resident, is a frequent visitor to the marine mammal’s habitat, where he has been observing and recording seals’ behavior for 20 years.
Speaking to Storyful, Burville said, “These encounters provide the perfect antidote to the stress of being a medical doctor during the current COVID-19 pandemic.” Credit: Ben Burville via Storyful